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I’m just going to say it. December at Columbia College Chicago can get a wee bit crazy. It’s the time of the year when it seems as if everything is due at once. I mean, you’ve got the holidays coming up, so there is a gift hunting deadline. If you’re in school you’ve got final projects, so you have assignment deadlines. For some of you trying to get into school, you’ve got application deadlines…gulp. Based on some of the emails I’ve gotten from prospective students, the last one probably hits close to home for many of you.

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That’s OK though. I’ve just hit a major deadline. Final projects were due in my documentary class. You’d think the major stress would be during the screening. You wonder how the room will react. Then you sit in front of the faculty and take your critiques. I survived. But, that’s actually the easy part. Now what? What do I do with my piece? How do I move forward? You have to look at how your work fits the overall scope of your creative vision. How will it define you as an artist, personally and professionally.

That brings me to the application process. Right now, many of you have finished or have just about finished your application. Once you’ve mailed off that final envelope or made arrangements for that transcript, what do you do? The application process is over. Now it’s the waiting game.

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But, what are you waiting for? This is the time to put your decision in perspective. Does the program you want fit? Are you going back to school because you feel that it will help you professionally? Or do you want to just expand your horizons? These are questions you have to ask as a potential student. If you question every reason you have to go back to school and you are still left wanting or needing the graduate school experience, then you have your “what next.”